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Old November 22nd, 2008, 02:57 PM   #1
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Infrared Night Shot recommendation?

Im looking for a flash memory-based camcorder that also has infrared ability. Normally, that would mean a Sony with "Super Nightshot" or whatever marketing name it has now. The problem with Sony is, of course, their proprietary "Flash Stick" memory which no one really wants to use.
I have heard other manufacturers are incorporating infrared or near-infrared capability in consumer and prosumer camcorders but I dont know their marketing terms for such.
Does anyone have a recommendation on, or experience with an AVCHD camera with this feature?

Id rather invest in pro or prosumer equipment but if I can only get IR with consumer-level products then that's where the money will go.
Any advice would be appreciated.
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Old November 22nd, 2008, 04:05 PM   #2
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so you are looking for a HD-based night vision capability? I do not think there is cameras out there that offer that, however there are expensive IR adapters you can use that are made specifically for certain models of cameras. These cost well over 6000 bucks ...
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Old November 22nd, 2008, 05:50 PM   #3
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most CCD camrcoder are IR sensitive but have a filter installed.
nightshot is only the ability to remove that filter.
Since all new camcorder are CMOS, i am not sure the IR sensitivity is the same.
But basically you can remove this filter on any camera and get a nighshot capable camcorder.
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Old November 22nd, 2008, 11:03 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Giroud Francois View Post
most CCD camrcoder are IR sensitive but have a filter installed.
nightshot is only the ability to remove that filter.
basically you can remove this filter on any camera and get a nighshot capable camcorder.


Im aware of the internal IR filter in front of the imaging chip(s) but im of the understanding they are usually fused to the imager and can not be removed. The Sony cameras instead have the filter on an internal lever that physically moves it out of the optical path.

Nightshot cameras also have Infrared LED emitters to provide illumination, but I can always get something that fits on a hotshoe or an IR Frez-equivalent if need be.

I need to know if there are other manufacturers besides "Memory Stick" stuck Sony that offer similar infrared functionality with, say, a SDHC memory slot or two.
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Old November 23rd, 2008, 12:25 AM   #5
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I believe Sony is "it", both the CX12 and SR11/12 have nightshot/IR.

I know Canon HV series didn't have it, I don't remember seeing it on the HF series, and I don't recall seeing it on the Panasonic feature list either...

Not sure why the aversion to MS Duos, but you can pick up genuine Sandisk 8GB for fairly cheap if you shop, like around $40-50 (and they aren't knocked off as much as the Sony ones are... although I think they do get knocked off too). I know the Sony stuff is proprietary, but it's not that big a deal if the camera has the feature you want/need.

The cams have built in IR emitter, and Sima is making an IR LED light that seems to be getting good reviews (I personally like their regular LED light - go for the "20" versions rather than the "10").
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Old November 23rd, 2008, 04:36 AM   #6
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http://direct.tesco.com/q/N.1999782$4294965790.aspx

well, some of the camera listed in link above are not night shot, but night mode or low light.
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Old November 23rd, 2008, 10:59 AM   #7
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http://direct.tesco.com/q/N.1999782$4294965790.aspx

well, some of the camera listed in link above are not night shot, but night mode or low light.
Thanks, but Night Mode seems to be marketingspeak for low Lux or slow shutter.
I cant find the website where someone was discussing using an IR light source with their Cannon or Panasonic, so this is frustrating.
You thought it would have been more popular with people seeing it in films like "Blair Witch" or on cheezy TV shows like "Ghost Hunter".
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Old November 23rd, 2008, 11:08 AM   #8
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Not sure why the aversion to MS Duos, but you can pick up genuine Sandisk 8GB for fairly cheap if you shop
Less capacity than SDHC for the same money, stores that carry SD sometimes dont carry MS, and that and most people have already invested in SD for other devices.

Likely that, and the clumsiness of the focus ring on my old Sony Digital8 left a bad taste in my mouth. Did I mention I really need manual focus that works :-) Sorry, took that for granted.
Ill see if I missed anything in Cannon's literature. It's nice when manufacturers have meaningful literature that you can download instead of having to compare websites. Thanks.
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Old November 23rd, 2008, 01:51 PM   #9
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what you could do is to use a bullet cam (50$ for the cheapest) and feed a recorder (could be a camcorder with video input).
I got some compactflash recorder that use mpeg2 that could be fine for this purpose.
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Old November 23rd, 2008, 02:19 PM   #10
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what you could do is to use a bullet cam (50$ for the cheapest) and feed a recorder (could be a camcorder with video input).
I got some compactflash recorder that use mpeg2 that could be fine for this purpose.
Mmm, no, Id really like a purpose-built camcorder. Ive tried what you have suggested in the past but it's a lot of clutter and not very portable.
Right now infrared capability is somewhat more important than SDHC over memory sticks so Sony has the advantage despite being behind the curve in memory choices. Would be nice if there were other manufacturers to choose from that DO use SDHC.
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Old November 24th, 2008, 10:32 AM   #11
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camcorder that also has infrared ability.


Id rather invest in pro or prosumer equipment but if I can only get IR with consumer-level products then that's where the money will go.


Any advice would be appreciated.
The Panasonic AG-DVC30 and AG-DVC60 has an actual infrared (IR) mode.

The Samsung VP-D23, VP-D26, VP-D5000 and SC-D5000 offered IR, maybe some other previous models but none of the current models that I am aware of.

That is the only readily available camcorder except for the Sony's which I am aware of for the past 5 years or so.

Some people are obtaining good results for security type cameras fed to an camcorder with A/V inputs or VTR's. Sam's Club has a neat one for $39 with illuminator leds. Or you can try the remove the "IR Cut Filter" surgically or look at some of the digicams which have video capability.



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Old November 24th, 2008, 11:21 AM   #12
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The Panasonic AG-DVC30 and AG-DVC60 has an actual infrared (IR) mode.

The Samsung VP-D23, VP-D26, VP-D5000 and SC-D5000 offered IR, maybe some other previous models but none of the current models that I am aware of.
That's certainly promising, in that other manufacturers have made attempts at an Infrared mode. None of these are AVCHD though, which would have been nice. Would have thought Panasonic would have taken a shot at it, at least in their consumer line.
Thanks for looking.

Quote:
Some people are obtaining good results for security type cameras fed to an camcorder with A/V inputs or VTR's. Sam's Club has a neat one for $39 with illuminator leds. Or you can try the remove the "IR Cut Filter" surgically or look at some of the digicams which have video capability.Rich
Those options were suggested. Mounted an IR security camera on some headgear with interesting (and sometimes nauseating) results but by the time you get audio to work you have a mess of wires and adapters that severely limit your portability.
Removing the IR Cut Filter, as I understand it, cripples your daytime functionality (as you have to use a thick compensating filter that may throw off your exposure metering) and that is assuming you can get the Cut Filter off your imaging chip without destroying it.

If the Canon HF-10 /11 /100 had an IR function I would be all over it, but unless someone knows about another flash-memory camcorder with IR then the Sony CX12 wins and I have to settle for less features and shell out for overpriced Memory Sticks.
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Old November 24th, 2008, 11:20 PM   #13
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Jeb Miller:

Without really knowing what you are trying to do and what you are willing to trade off on it's like poking a pinata.... I don't know what else to guess at.



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Old November 25th, 2008, 12:06 AM   #14
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Jeb Miller:

Without really knowing what you are trying to do and what you are willing to trade off on it's like poking a pinata.... I don't know what else to guess at.
I guess im trying to get the equivalent of the NightShot feature commonly found on Sony camcorders without being stuck with Memory Stick as the flash recording media.

Panasonic might have had it figured out but the cameras you were so kind to look up werent flash-memory devices. Would be my luck that AVCHD whetted my appetite but the manufacturers are short on the features I was looking for.

I may have found a solution to the Memory Stick dead end in the form of a Micro SDHC-to-Memory Stick adapter sleeve for around $8. If it works I might be able to avoid MS and its Digital Rights Management components that do nothing but drive up the price of the media.
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Old December 6th, 2008, 10:48 PM   #15
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Infrared Experiences

Jeb - About a year ago I spent many hours trying to find or build a high quality HD infrared camcorder and came to the same dead-end you seem to have. I really wanted a professional camera with a big wide lens, but couldn't find anything (I did find one place that would modify DSLRs to make them infrared, but I didn't trust them to modify a high-end video camera). So I ended up settling on the consumer Sonys HDR-HC3 (HDV) and HDR-CX7 (AVCHD). I usually use the latter because it has a slightly wider lens. I use the cameras for wildlife filming. The built-in infrared emitter on the cameras, along with the Sony HVL-IRM, works fine in my studio (with mice, voles, etc.), but its woefully inadequate for most outdoor work. So I've rigged up a system where a couple of spotlights (with infrared filters) and my camera sit on a platform which then sets on a tripod. Not ideal, but it works (you can see some footage at HD Nature Footage Video Clips by typing "infrared" in the search box). If you come across new developments I'd love to hear them.
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